WWII's effect on fashion
Posted by Lois on March 09, 1998 at 04:32:30:
In response to A thought on P&P0 costumes, written by Carolyn B on March 05, 1998 at 07:53:12
] Just something that popped into my head this morning. I was looking at the 1833 Bentley illustrations for JA that are reprinted in Tomalin's bio (which I would link here from Myster. HC's pages if I weren't supposed to be getting ready for work right now) and realized that the costume designers for P&P0 probably went to those as their source. This has probably been suggested here before, but then my further thought (yes, more than one thought before 8 a.m.!) was that the styles of the 1830s might be more attractive to costume designers c. 1940 when big shoulders, etc. were back in vogue. Some of those hats popular then look rather like the bonnets worn by Greer Garson, et al. (sorry no illustration to link to) The straighter lines of the early 1800s less fashionable for a 1940 movie (since the similar straight lines of the 1920s had gone out of style)
] Oh well, just a thought.
There may well be another reason why clothing was designed in a more pared-down style during WWII. It has been suggested by social historians that during periods of history when women are more liberated in a general sense, they are also freer to choose clothing that allows them to be seen in a more natural style, i.e., without stays and bustles, and gives more freedom of movement.
Surely when women were recruited to play a part in production plants and factories while the men were at war, of necessity they had greater freedom as well as greater responsibilities. The clothing of the time reflected the changes in their work and personal lives, as well as an unprecedented masculinity (the introduction of trousers and padded shoulders).
After the war, of course, all that changed. The men came home, couples reunited and women went back to their "rightful" place in the kitchen. The fashions of the times, like Dior's "new look" were expressive of the more feminine role women were expected to resume, and no doubt embraced wholeheartedly, and the abundance of resources like synthetic fabrics that had been previously appropriated for the war effort.
- Pre-WWII Carolyn B 17:28:35 3/09/98 (0)
- Extension Ken 12:47:06 3/09/98 (1)
- The Roaring Twenties Carolyn B 17:21:53 3/09/98 (0)
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